Why did the turtle cross the road?

Minesing Wetlands (Photo by Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority)

Minesing Wetlands (Photo by Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority)

I didn’t expect one of the neatest experiences of my summer to happen while surveying the Minesing Wetlands for road mortality last June. In fact, I’d spent the day preparing myself mentally to have to make difficult observations of...

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What's flapping around in two Christmas Bird Count circles? (Part Two)

Bob and Mike checking out a flock of sparrows and finches (Photo by Kristyn Ferguson)

Bob and Mike checking out a flock of sparrows and finches (Photo by Kristyn Ferguson)

A ways up Highway 400 and across the top of Lake Simcoe from the Richmond Hill count circle (read about it in Part One), the Carden Alvar Christmas Bird Count took place on Saturday, January 2. It was a cold and dark morning when I left my house...

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You too can be a citizen scientist! Join a Christmas Bird Count this year

Volunteers with binoculars at Codroy Valley Fall waterfowl Survey, NL (photo by NCC)

Volunteers with binoculars at Codroy Valley Fall waterfowl Survey, NL (photo by NCC)

Citizen science monitoring is an unspeakably important part of conservation, and I would encourage anyone who hasn’t tried it out yet to get involved. Christmas Bird Counts in particular are a great excuse to catch some sunshine and exercise...

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#HowToNature series: How to bird (Part One)

Robin (Photo by Jeff Verberne)

Robin (Photo by Jeff Verberne)

When I recently told my best friend that I was excited to be going "birding," she couldn’t stop laughing. I had to explain to her that I hadn’t randomly turned the noun "bird” into a verb, but that I was just reducing the...

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#HowToNature series: How to bird (Part Two)

Downy woodpecker (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Downy woodpecker (Photo by Bill Hubick)

In Part One of the birding how-to, I talked about the joy of "birding" (also known as birdwatching), what one should bring and what to watch or listen for. With that knowledge at hand, the next question is: "Where to go?" Where to go...

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Chasing dragonflies and butterflies with Bob Bowles

Bob Bowles, Carden Alvar, ON (Photo by NCC).

Bob Bowles, Carden Alvar, ON (Photo by NCC).

I met Bob Bowles fairly early in my career at the Nature Conservancy of Canada when I was tasked to run the Carden Alvar butterfly and dragonfly counts in the Georgian Bay–Huronia sub-region in 2009. We’d been planning the counts on...

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My snowy day...And tips for non-intrusive enjoyment of snowy owls

This snowy encounter was a long time coming, and it made my day. (Photo by NCC)

This snowy encounter was a long time coming, and it made my day. (Photo by NCC)

My moment with a snowy owl has been a long time coming. In late 2013 I wrote about my attempts to find one during the Guelph Christmas Bird Count and I spent many wintery days in 2013/2014 driving down country roads peering hopefully into fields...

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My 2014 Christmas Bird Count

Kristyn Ferguson out for a snowy day of field work (Photo by NCC)

Kristyn Ferguson out for a snowy day of field work (Photo by NCC)

Believe it or not, when my alarm went off at 5:15 a.m. on Sunday, December 14, 2014, I actually sprang out of bed with a smile on my face. While I typically rue any waking in “the 5s”, this was one day I knew would be worth it: the...

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Tales from the pond - Part 2

Kristyn Ferguson, spring monitoring, ON (Photo by NCC)

Kristyn Ferguson, spring monitoring, ON (Photo by NCC)

I waited over two weeks after that fateful visit to the Creemore pond on the first day of April, when what I had falsely hoped would be the first day of spring. I was sure that after I had had the opportunity to frequently don sandals and T-shirts...

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Tales from the pond - Part 1

Kristyn Ferguson out for a snowy day of field work (Photo by NCC)

Kristyn Ferguson out for a snowy day of field work (Photo by NCC)

At a property owned by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in the Georgian Bay–Huronia sub-region, a beautiful stream courses through a deciduous forest, providing excellent habitat for coldwater fish species including brown trout, and...

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